Recalled: ELM Chicken and Chickpea Recipe Dog Food

Another day, another dog food recalled because Vitamin D levels are too high. Here are the details — and what may be happening.

Maker: ELM Pet Foods, Inc.
Cause: Elevated levels of Vitamin D
Announcement: FDA announcement dated Nov. 29, 2018 (archived here)
What was recalled: The following ELM Chicken and Chickpea Recipe dry dog foods:

  • 3 lb. bags, UPC #0-70155-22507-8, with one of these date codes:
    • TD2 26 FEB 2019,
    • TE1 30 APR 2019
    • TD1 5 SEP 2019
    • TD2 5 SEP 2019
  • 28 lb. bags, UPC #0-70155-22513-9, with one of these date codes:
    • TB3 6 APR 2019
    • TA1 2 JULY 2019
    • TI1 2 JULY 2019
  • 40 lb. bags, UPC #0-70155-22522-9, with one of these date codes:
    • TB3 14 Sep 2019
    • TA2 22 Sep 2019
    • TB2 11 Oct 2019

The date codes appear on the back of the bag at the bottom center (3 lb. bags), in the center of the back (28 lb. bags) or on the bottom right of the back (40 lb. bags).

These products were manufactured between late February and October of this year, and they were distributed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, according to the announcement, which added that “no other ELM Pet Foods products are impacted.”

Customers who have purchased any of the affected products should stop feeding them and return the products to the retailer for a refund.

You may also contact ELM Pet Foods at (800) 705-2111 during business hours.

Vitamin D, when consumed at very high levels, can lead to serious health issues in dogs — including renal dysfunction.

This is just the latest in a dizzying number of dog food recalls in November 2018 over concerns about elevated Vitamin D levels.

The full list of Vitamin D related recalls now includes 10 dog food brands:

So far, all of these recalled foods have been dry dog foods — no wet foods, cat foods or treats. All of them contain either chicken as the primary ingredient or, in a single case, lamb as a primary ingredient.

We have thus far not been able to determine why dog foods keep being recalled for high Vitamin D levels. But we do know that the very first of these recalls, for the Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea Recipe, mentioned that “a formulation error led to the elevated Vitamin D in the product.” That sounds familiar.

A few years ago, in October 2010, Blue Buffalo issued a recall of a few dry dog foods for the same reason — elevated Vitamin D levels. The company explained that “a sequencing error occurred at the supplier of the dry ingredients for the products,” according to National Products Insider,1 which added:

“Immediately prior to producing the ingredients for the dog food production runs, the supplier had run a product for another customer that contained a more potent form of Vitamin D used in chicken feeds, which carried over into the manufacturing of the BLUE products.”

My hunch is that something similar happened with these current products — they probably all share a mutual supplier of one of their dry ingredients, which wasn’t mixed properly.

I also suspect that we’ll be seeing even more of these Vitamin D related recalls in the days ahead, so stay tuned…

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There were more recalls in 2018. See the previous one:

⇦ Previous Recall

(Or browse recalls by brand name)